May 31, 2012
Posted by Bob Smith
, 9:49 am
Reprinted from a SquallLines posting on May 30
Combative and counter-productive environmentalists continue their attacks on the Carolinas Cement Company. Filing lawsuits based on foolishness with intent to stall production and add cost to the company is their short term game plan. In the longer run they hope to shut down our productive industries and lock up our natural resources in preserves. Company managers, engineers, technicians, construction workers and a host of other people must wait to begin work while environmental gamesters play their litigation cards.
The usual suspects have concocted another legal ploy to stall construction of the cement plant planned near Castle Hayne, N. C. Southern Environmental Law Center lawyer Geoff Gisler wants a judge to revoke the state issued air quality permit because the company “amended its quarry plan,” according to a Wilmington StarNews article by Kate Queram. Unfortunately, the press takes these people seriously and this article misrepresents the situation.
Ms. Queram writes: “The permit…came after three years of wrangling and contentious battles between the cement corporation and local residents and environmental groups….” Based on my observations over this time, company people didn’t wrangle or battle with anyone. But they have been ruthlessly and relentlessly attacked.
On occasion, they’ve attempted to defend their good name from slanderous assaults, but they have never been quarrelsome. Quite the opposite; company people came to this area offering goodwill and economic benefits. They were rebuffed by a small number of well-funded and organized environmental activists who immediately set up an antagonistic Stop Titan Network. Further, company officials have been unbelievably patient with the vicious assaults on their work—even their intentions have been impugned.
Activists (in groups such as the N. C. Coastal Federation and Cape Fear River Watch) tried to defame the company; spread unfounded malicious propaganda about assumed dangers to humans from plant operations; and hired the regional hostile SELC to bring lawsuits crafted to stall company operations. Ms. Queram provides some credibility and cover by writing that these people are “deeply concerned” about “potential impacts”—assuming all of them to be negative and failing to question the flimsy basis for concerns.
This latest frivolous attempt to stall the company plans didn’t warrant a comment from the state Air Quality Division spokesman (the SELC accused the agency people of dereliction of duty). Bob Odom, Carolinas Cement manager calmly reminded all the belligerent parties that his company must meet all state and federal regulations regardless of what plans they have.
Further, he has told us that the company must also endure a long, expensive federally mandated environmental review to be granted another permit required for the company to operate their facility. It’s clear to me who are the contentious ones.
(For more about recent unscrupulous activities committed by the Stop Titan Action Network against Titan Cement read blogs, “Connecting the dots” and “The rest of the story” by Kate McClain at the Carolinas Cement Company site.)